The word on the street is that this glorious weather we’re having isn’t just a blip. We’re talking months of sunshine ahead of us … or so I hope (if I haven’t just jinxed it).

So it only makes sense to mention King’s Road’s latest restaurant opening, The Ivy Chelsea Garden which boasts the largest restaurant garden in London and which I visited last week for lunch.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

Stepping inside you can only be impressed with the renovation of the building. Both Joudie and I had grown up along the King’s Road and so the restaurant’s former interior as Henry J. Beans was firmly imprinted on our minds.Ivy Chelsea Garden

But every inch of The Ivy Chelsea Garden feels like a transformation. From the bar … Ivy Chelsea Garden

… to the gorgeous inside seating area, which differs in style as you walk around. The whole place has a light and airy feel about it and you truly feel like you have been transported off the King’s Road and into a world of its own.Ivy Chelsea GardenAs for the garden, neither Joudie or I remember the original garden looking so big. The outside space feels like an absolute delight to walk around and …

Ivy Chelsea Garden… there are even quieter nooks to sip a glass of something special in.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

As for lunch, I started off with a glass of Prosecco whilst Joudie ordered a Bloody Mary with Sipsmith Gin. Ivy Chelsea Garden

Joudie ordered the tuna carpaccio which I think was the winner amongst our starters. Ivy Chelsea GardenI chose the crispy duck salad which I thought was ok but nowhere near as good as the tuna.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

For main, we both ordered the whole lemon sole with a side of zucchini fritti. Ivy Chelsea Garden

Ivy Chelsea Garden

But the highlight of my lunch had to be the diary-free panna cotta, which was a set coconut cream pudding with chilli infused shaved pineapple. I’ve been mourning the loss of panna cotta in my diet since I discovered I was dairy intolerant so I was more than pleased to see this dish on the menu, which passed with flying colours.

Ivy Chelsea GardenThe Ivy Chelsea Garden is a great addition to the King’s Road and a beautiful place to dine. Although, I wouldn’t be entirely honest if I didn’t mention that I did experience some teething problems with the albeit friendly service. Hopefully this is all down to ‘early days’ because I’m already planning my return.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden,  197 King’s Road, London SW3 5ED.

Chelsea Girl

There is something about Japanese food that makes it ideal for a girly catch-up. Whether it’s for lunch or supper, it feels quite symbolic to share plates whilst sharing news, secrets and the latest in box sets/TV downloads of which I have so much to catch up on.

Last week I was invited to lunch at Sake No Hana where time stood still for a couple of hours and along with two other fabulous women, Alix and Joudie, I had the most delicious and fun time.

Sake No Hana

Saka No Hana is part of the Hakkasan restaurant group, so you can imagine the quality of the ingredients and the style in which they are prepared are very carefully considered.

And don’t you find that when the food is that good and the conversation is flowing, you can just keep on talking and eating as the plates keep on arriving? You’re not limited to three courses to punctuate the conversation. The afternoon or evening can just roll on.Sake No Hana

By the time our final platters had arrived, we were all satisfied yet ready for more. And because I enjoyed everything so much, it’s difficult to highlight my favourite dishes of the afternoon. If I were to think about it carefully, I would say the beautifully fresh sashimi, the sesame spinach with cassava chips and the sushi with the pear centre have stuck with me. But then again, if I think again so have the lobster tempura and sesame fried aubergine with fig.
Sake No HanaI’m planning on returning to Sake No Hana quite soon for Sakura at Sake No Hana, which I can’t wait for. From April 20th until 20th June, Sake No Hana will be alive with cherry blossoms. I wrote a post about it last year, which you can read here. Doesn’t it all look so beautiful? Their special menu is fantastic too.

Sake no Hana, 23 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HA

Chelsea Girl

There have been a lot of exciting developments along the King’s Road for foodies – and the arrival of Startisans at Duke of York Square is no exception.

Opened now for a few weeks, Startisans is a pop-up indoor market that is packed with variety because every day is different.

One day you may find scrumptious marshmallows like you’ve never tasted before …

Startisans Duke of York Square

… which are sat alongside gorgeous homemade lasagne.Startisans Duke of York Square

Another day you may discover Vegan Sweet Tooth’s cakes and tarts, which are so divine. If you think you need to compromise on taste with vegan food, think again. Vegan Sweet Tooth has made me realise that dairy-free does not have to be uninteresting at all.Startisans Duke of York Square

Or, another day you could discover these Turkish wraps from Istanbul Lahmacun which I swear by. I’ve had the lamb wrap, which was not only tasty but also very satisfying. I’ll definitely be back for more when they return.

Startisans Duke of York Square

According to Startisans’ website, the definition of a Startisan is “an individual or group of individuals that have created a start up business specialising in artisan food.”

This means you’ll come across Eat ‘N’ Mess’s cakes which are a veritable treat if you can try them.
Startisans Duke of York Square

And what I also love about Startisans, apart from the truly delicious daily offerings, is the fact that start-ups have a platform to show off their goodies which focus on quality because of their small-scale operation.
Startisans Duke of York Square

But the main reason for me writing this post is an observation I made whilst walking along the King’s Road a couple of weeks ago. I spotted people with lunches in their plastic supermarket bags and I thought, if only they knew about ‘this place’. For the same price, they could send their tastebuds on a culinary journey and discover something both tasty and brand new. Makes lunchtimes a lot more interesting!Startisans Duke of York Square

Startisans is open 7 days a week and is definitely worth checking out.

Chelsea Girl

I’ve always been a bit of a meat lover. Steaks, burgers and authentic Italian meaty pasta dishes have always been favourites on the menu. But since my pregnancy there has been an obvious shift towards more fruit and veg. Dark leafy greens such as kale entered my diet.

This week is Meat Free Week and aside from the health benefits there has been plenty to think about regarding why it’s better to increase the amount of fruit and veg in our diets. The environment and the animals themselves are issues to be aware of. (You can find out more about the issues, here.)

In the name of Meat Free Week, I visited Andreas on Chelsea Green (Cale Street), an area I have complete nostalgia for from my primary school days.

Adreas - Fruit and Vegetables in Chelsea

Meeting Andreas himself and learning about the ethos behind this popular local grocers was very eye-opening. I was reminded about the value of having a local store as part of the community; something I experience with my local newsagent.

I also learned about the difference between supermarket fruit and Andreas’ organic attitude which ultimately delivers tastier produce.

Adreas - Fruit and Vegetables in Chelsea

The type of fruit and vegetables you find here stem from the familiar to the unusual, which I also like.Adreas - Fruit and Vegetables in Chelsea

And most of all I learned that we share a common belief, that quality above anything else matters.Adreas - Fruit and Vegetables in ChelseaAnd so for Meat Free Week, Andreas has kindly given King’s Road Rocks a recipe to share on here.

The recipe is, Sophie’s roasted vegetables with a twist!

It feeds a family of 4/5 and here it is:

1400g Sweet Potato
1400g Butternut Squash
1200g Swede
300g Parsnip
300g Swede
300g Carrot
1200g Red Pepper
1200g Yellow Pepper
1250g Courgettes
1 Banana Shallot
1 Small Red Onion

Cheap olive oil or Pommace oil
Fresh Oregano and Thyme
Cayenne pepper
Fresh herbs

Peel and chop to a comfortable size and wash your vegetables
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
Add vegetables to the oven tray with a good amount of olive oild
Shake some Cayanne pepper to taste
Put in the oven for 45 minutes

Eat and enjoy!

Chelsea Girl

 

The eagerly anticipated Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition opens at the V&A on Saturday and already the outstanding reviews are pouring in. So it’s no wonder, in anticipation of this exhibition, Alexander McQueen’s legacy is trending around London.

On the King’s Road Proud Galleries’ exhibition, McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary Wallis, gives an intimate look at the fashion designer, a peek behind the scenes of his early shows and a look at those who were close to him.

Proud Chelsea Exhibition  McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary Wallis

The intimacy of the photographs reflect the close relationship between the photographer and fashion designer: Gary Wallis first met Alexander McQueen when they were both studying at Central Saint Martins.Proud Chelsea Exhibition  McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary Wallis

And in the space of three short years, McQueen climbed the ranks of the fashion industry. His greatest champion was Isabella Blow who also became his muse. Proud Chelsea Exhibition  McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary WallisWallis’s collaboration with McQueen spanned these years and Proud Galleries’ exhibition gives you a “personal insight into the lawless and irreverent life of Alexander McQueen, celebrating a rare moment in time, as this young Londoner became the rebel king of British fashion, pushing the boundaries of convention and reinventing the catwalk, unleashing shock and awe onto the fashion elite.”

Proud Chelsea Exhibition  McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary WallisThe photographs are beautiful to look and at times haunting. The exhibition also coincides with the launch Garry Wallis’s book, something every McQueen fan must look through.Proud Chelsea Exhibition  McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows By Gary WallisProud Chelsea, 161 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5XP.

Chelsea Girl

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